The Dutch police have arrested two Belgians who were wanted in our country for the serious assault of a taxi driver in 2016. They were sentenced to ten years in prison, but were on the run from the judicial authorities.
Jonathan M. (28) has been arrested in Zeist and has to serve another ten years in prison. He is seen as a key figure. A 29-year-old companion was arrested in Rotterdam. He was given eight years before the court of appeal. In August 2016, the trio of Congolese and Nigerian descent, together with another friend, assaulted a taxi driver and bruised him badly.
140 screws and 40 titanium plates in the face. That was what taxi driver Raphaël Spapen (54) got in the summer of 2016 from what should have been a routine job. His employer, the Hasselt taxi company Axi Taxi, had received a call-up on August 12, 2016 from a young man who wanted to go to Brussels from Bilzen. The 160 euro ride went smoothly, but suddenly turned into a nightmare in our capital. “The customer attacked me with an iron bar or brass knuckles. I heard the whistling in my head and lost consciousness. I got up again, remember three more strokes and then nothing more, ”Spapen told the court. He was incapacitated for work for more than four months after the incident.
Since one of the perpetrators had called the taxi with his own mobile phone, the police were able to quickly catch the perpetrators. The trio was initially sentenced to eight years in prison but appealed. There they received prison sentences of eight and ten years last year.
The prosecution general asked for the suspects to be arrested immediately, fearing they would try to evade their sentence. However, the court decided not to pronounce the immediate arrest. As a result, they took flight.
“The Fugitive Active Search Team Netherlands (FASTNL) started an investigation into the whereabouts of the two fugitives based on information from FAST Belgium. The information led to the whereabouts of the men, who had been spotted at European level, ”said the Dutch police in a press release.
Our country requests their extradition to the Netherlands.